US & Canada

Senate aide facing child porn charges hangs himself

US Postal police walk with Ryan Loskarn, centre, chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, Wednesday in Washington DC 11 December 2013 Image copyright AP
Image caption Loskarn had been living at his parents' home, required to wear an electronic monitor since the arrest

A former senior US Senate aide who was arrested on child pornography charges last month was found dead after hanging himself, authorities have said.

Jesse Ryan Loskarn, 35, was chief of staff to Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee until his arrest in December.

He was accused of possession and attempted distribution of child pornography.

Loskarn was living with his parents and wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet while awaiting trial.

"For everyone involved, this is a sad and tragic story from beginning to end," Mr Alexander, a Republican, said in a statement.

Mr Alexander sacked Loskarn after his arrest. A rising star in Republican politics on Capitol Hill, Loskarn had been Mr Alexander's chief of staff since 2011.

Loskarn's family members called police after finding him unresponsive in his parents' basement on Thursday, the Carroll County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Prosecutors alleged in court documents that Loskarn made several purchases from a website offering child pornography DVDs between November 2010 and March 2011.

He was also accused of offering illicit files for download from his home computer.

Investigators with the US Postal Service searched his home last month and found a portable hard drive that contained at least 200 videos of child pornography, prosecutors said in court filings.

Loskarn had faced up to 20 years in prison on the charges.

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